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Balasekaran, Govindasamy
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Purpose: Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is a relative measure to categorise the intensity of exertion during exercise. The OMNI-scale is a pictorial-verbal scale developed to quantify RPE which is particularly useful and important in young children who struggle to assign numbers to words that describe exercise-related feelings. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate if 1) there is a correlation between the use of OMNI scale in a laboratory and in a field setting; 2) children are able to self- regulate exercise intensity during the two different pedagogical approaches of teaching physical education (that is skills based versus modified small sided games), and 3) the ability to self-regulate would improve their 1.6km timing – one of the required components in National Physical Fitness Award / Assessment (NAPFA).

Methods: Forty-eight participants, aged ten to eleven years old, were selected from two schools in Singapore. They were randomized within school to two groups for a six week study using two different Physical Education (PE) pedagogy approaches. All participants were measured pre- and post- study for standard anthropometric data, for measures of RPE and HR obtained during an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion and on a 1.6km run for time. In addition, RPE and HR were recorded during each PE lesson.

Results: There was a significant correlation between HR and RPE in both field and laboratory settings. HR values and RPE levels were strongly correlated for the various stages and did not differ for the two different pedagogical approaches of teaching PE lessons. Other physiological variables (measures of VO2 and %VO2max), significantly correlated with average RPE. The highest correlation were found between RPE and HR (r = 0.44, P < 0.01) and %VO2max (r = 0.46, P < 0.01). It was also noted that participants were exercising at an intensity equivalent to or greater than 75.2 (11.7)% of VO2max, which corresponded close to approximately about 92% of HRmax for the pre study and 73.2 (11.2)% of VO2max, which corresponded close to approximately about 90% of HRmax for the post study.

The results suggest that children are able to regulate their own exercise intensity regardless of the physical activities (in this case, skills based PE lesson or modified small sided games) although significant difference was detected in the ability to self- regulate within the differing pedagogical approaches.

A significant improvement timing can be seen in both groups (P < 0.05). Thirty-nine out of forty-eight (81%) of the participants showed improvement in their 1.6km timing over the six weeks study. Whilst improvement was shown to be constant between the two treatment groups, the modified games group completed the run on average 19% quicker.

Conclusion: Children are capable of using OMNI scale to do self-regulation and the use of self-regulating of exercise intensity using RPE is a good way of ensuring that children pace themselves and improve performance. With proper regulation of exercise in the safer intensity zone, it will not only help prevent injury but also enhance health benefits in the long run.
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GV443 Chi
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Appears in Collections:Master of Science (Exercise and Sport Studies)

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